Tag Archives: Trains

Spend a Month Seeing America by Train for $400 | Lifehacker

Don’t expect luxury, but do expect to cover a lot of ground.

By Elizabeth Yuko, Saturday, March 26, 2022, 1:00PM

Photo: Ian Dewar Photography (Shutterstock)

Spring has officially started, and if that makes you want to get out and explore, you’re not alone.

But with gas prices continuing to soar, a road trip may not be the most cost-effective way of doing that right now.

But from now through Tuesday, March 29th, you can snag a USA Rail Pass from Amtrak—which gets you 30 days of train travel—for $399. Here’s what to know.

How Amtrak’s USA Rail Pass works

So what do you get for $399 (other than $100 off the usual price)?

The USA Rail Pass is good for 10 train rides (officially known as “segments”) over a 30-day period, allowing you to travel between more than 500 Amtrak destinations. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: Spend a Month Seeing America by Train for $400

Train Travel in the U.S. Is Getting More Luxurious | Condé Nast Traveler

Upscale sightseeing tours, new products from Amtrak, and planned high-speed routes are making U.S. train travel more comfortable and convenient.

By Barbara Peterson, September 7, 2021

Rocky Mountaineer/ Emotion Cinema 

Rail is on a roll, thanks to a new emphasis in Washington on infrastructure and the environment. These efforts are boosting not just Amtrak’s fortunes, but those of private sector high-speed rail projects across the U.S.

But will American travelers reap the benefits—as in, better and more reliable trains? Train journeys have long been viewed as more sophisticated than traveling by either road or air, but train travel in the U.S. has long lagged behind Europe and Asia, where intercity trains are both high speed and high quality experiences. In contrast, Amtrak has been plagued by aging rolling stock (some of its rail cars date back almost to its inception 50 years ago) and sagging on-time performance. That’s because the quasi-public company has spent much of its history battling congressional critics who’ve periodically voted to slash the line’s federal funding, arguing it’s a waste of taxpayer money.

But sophisticated travelers are voting—with their wallets, at least—in favor of rail, and they’ve been doing so in greater numbers since the pandemic struck, experts say. A recent poll by Virtuoso travel agency consortium found that 69 percent of respondents prefer to travel closer to home. That sentiment is fueling interest in high-end train travel in the U.S., says Misty Belles, Virtuoso’s vice president of global public relations. “[Train travel is] a way to enjoy the beauty of the U.S. and its diverse landscapes without having to drive,” she says. “More spacious seating and ability to roam appeal to those looking to avoid chaotic airports, crowded flights, or cramped cars.”

Source: Train Travel in the U.S. Is Getting More Luxurious | Condé Nast Traveler

Coast Starlight: 24 hours on one of America’s most scenic train routes | CNN Travel

Jessie Yeung, CNN • Published 4th February 2022

From article…

(CNN) — Along the West Coast of the United States, 1,377 miles of railroad tracks run from Seattle to Los Angeles — a route often named as one of the most beautiful train journeys in America.

The route, called the Coast Starlight, takes 35 hours in total to wind through Washington state, cross Oregon and snake down the California coastline.

From article…

It’s billed on Amtrak’s website as “a grand west coast train adventure,” and a quick Google search turns up a number of travel blogs and YouTube videos boasting picturesque scenery along the way.

Source: Coast Starlight: 24 hours on one of America’s most scenic train routes | CNN Travel

The Quest to Protect California’s Transcontinental Railroad Tunnels | Travel | Smithsonian Magazine

Built by Chinese immigrants in the 1860s, the caverns cutting through Donner Summit helped unite the country

By Shoshi Parks, Freelance writer, January 12, 2022

The Donner Summit tunnels and 13 others in the Sierra Nevada built by Chinese railroad workers remain a testament to ingenuity and industry.  Shoshi Parks

A summer hike led me straight to the yawning maw of the Donner Summit tunnels high above Donner Lake in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Not even the longer of the two, a man-made cavern 1,659 feet in length, appeared on my map. There was no historical marker, no plaque, no interpretive signs—no signage of any sort.

I had no way of knowing that I’d accidentally stumbled on one of the most important engineering marvels of the 19th century, the one that united America.

The Sierra Nevada, the 400-mile-long range of granite peaks that form the backbone of California, was the most formidable obstacle in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.

The only way past them was through. But in the mid-1860s, an era without dynamite or heavy machinery, the task seemed insurmountable. The granite was too hard, the mountains too steep, the 7,042 foot elevation where snow arrived early and stayed late was too treacherous for train travel.

Source: The Quest to Protect California’s Transcontinental Railroad Tunnels | Travel | Smithsonian Magazine